“The Cross is suffering viewed in the supernatural light of faith as an instrument of salvation and sanctification, and therefore, as an instrument of love.”
Today, Friday in Passion Week, April 7, 2017, we commemorate the Seven Sorrows of Mary, which she suffered in union with the Passion of her divine Son.
“Now there stood by the Cross of Jesus, His Mother.” St. John, 19, 35
Father Gabriel reminds us that although Mary’s grief was immeasurable, it was surpassed by her love, “a love so great that it could encompass that vast sea of sorrow.” (Divine Intimacy).
The Seven Sorrows of Mary
Prophecy of Simeon And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was in him… And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this Child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. (Luke 2, 25-35)
From the moment she heard Simeon’s words, she would never again lift the Child’s hands without seeing a shadow of nails on them; every sunset would be a blood-red image of His Passion. Simeon was throwing away the sheath that hid the future from human eyes, and letting the blade of the world’s sorrow flash in front of her eyes. Every pulse that she would feel in the tiny wrist would be like an echo of an oncoming hammer. If He was dedicated to salvation through suffering, so was she. No sooner was this young life launched than Simeon, like an old mariner, talked of shipwreck. No cup of the Father’s bitterness had yet come to the lips of the Babe, and yet a sword was shown to His mother. (Abp. Fulton Sheen, “Life of Christ”, Kindle Edition)
The Flight Into Egypt
…behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the Child and His mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the Child to destroy Him. Who arose, and took the Child and His mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called My Son. (Matt. 2, 13-15)
Mary and Joseph, following the Angel’s command, fled in the night taking their Divine Child into a strange and evil land, the historic enemy of their people. In this severe trial, trudging in the dark towards an unknown and threatening future, they foreshadow our own strivings to live amidst strangers who despise Our Lord, who only use His name to blaspheme and curse. The Holy Family, through the Providence of the Eternal Father, found safe haven in the most dangerous land of their time, and so also we trust in our Father’s providence and await His will in our exile here.
Continue reading “The Seven Sorrows of Mary Immaculate”